Please note Easter in Guatemala is a special and unique cultural experience but it is also very crowded and more costly than other times of the year. This itinerary is modified to accommodate transport accessibility and maximize the cultural experience in Antigua.
Payment in full NO LATER than DEC 1, 2014.
* Saturday March 28th – Travel to Guatemala Airline / flight # / time (I know you may arrive earlier. Transport from airport or hotel in Guate City included in package price).
Transfer from airport to Antigua. Overnight in Antigua (Family friendly hotel with free wifi, free drinking water, garden)
Hotel San Jorge 4a Avenida Sur # 13 + (502) 7832-3132
Room with 1 double bed + 1 twin bed (extra twin bed upon request) / private bath
Included this day: Airport transport, hotel.
Orientation / morning with guide explaining the Semana Santa / Easter rituals and processions.
8:15am – Meet as a group. Introductions and brief orientation to program.
9:00am – Depart hotel with professional bilingual as you learn about the cultural significance of the processions and alfombras carpets made of saw dust, flowers and other materials.
Afternoon free to wonder around Antigua and take in more of the processions; colors, smells and tastes of Antigua and Guatemala. Overnight in Antigua.
Included this day: Breakfast, morning guide, hotel.
* Monday March 30th – Iximche / Panajachel
9:00am – Depart for Panajachel via the ruins of Iximche – the first Capital of Guatemala after the conquest. Iximche is still an active Mayan ritual site. http://www.grupoquepasa.com/iximche-more-than-just-another-mayan-site/ Visit ruins with your bilingual driver, then continue to Panajachel. Afternoon/evening at leisure. Overnight in Panajachel.
Hotel Posada de Don Rodrigo + (502) 7762-2326
Standard room with 2 double beds (+ cot upon request).
Included this day: Breakfast, transports, entrance fees, hotel.
* Tuesday March 31st – Panajachel: Boat ride on Lake Atitlan / Fun Day
8:30am (check out of hotel and safely store your bags there) – Your bilingual guide will meet you at your hotel and take a boat ride on Lake Atitlan to the village of Santa Cruz where you will spend the day with your guide kayaking, rock climbing, swimming, relaxing and/or hiking. Lunch included. All activities follow strict USA safety standards and equipment. Afternoon return to Panajachel with 3:00pm transport back to Antigua. Overnight in Antigua.
Included this day: Breakfast, boat ride, activities, lunch, hotel.
Wednesday April 1st – Cultural visit to “Ninos con Bendicion” –
9:00am -Transport to San Antonio Aguas Calientes (@20 min from Antigua). Enjoy traditional folk dance presentations from the “Niños con Bendición”. This dance group is made up of 25 children ages 5-16. The children present Mayan folk dances and traditional Guatemalan folk dances. This is an excellent opportunity to see local culture in a “typical” home – try grinding corn and make tortillas and get a taste of daily life. Extra time for kids of all ages to play and share. Opportunity to shop for textiles and crafts. www.NinosConBendicion.com *** Bring a checkbook.
Return to Antigua early afternoon and in time to have lunch and see the children’s procession leaving from the La Merced church (3pm). Afternoon/evening at leisure. Overnight in Antigua.
Included this day: Breakfast, transports, guide, snack, hotel.
* Thursday April 2nd – Free day in Antigua / Help with an “alfombra”(optional)
Spend the day as a family resting or walking around Antigua seeing any or all parts of the various Semana Santa activities which include: 11:00am Procession from San Cristóbal El Bajo; 12:45pm Procession from San Francisco Church. 3:00 – 5:00pm – “Ceremonia del Lavatorio” – washing of the feet of the Jesus figure at Escuela de Cristo the Cathedral and La Merced Church (times vary). Opportunity to help with an alfombra for the afternoon procession. Overnight in Antigua. Included this day: Breakfast, hotel.
* Friday April 3rd – Free day in Antigua *** These are the largest and most elaborate processions and alfombras of the entire Semana Santa holiday. Families start the night before creating very elaborate alfombras for the La Merced procession and all those that follow. The processions will be around Antigua all day and well into the night starting at 3:00am with the parade of Roman soldiers riding on horses and walking on Antigua streets (looking for Jesus and calling out counts against him) followed by the 4:00am procession from La Merced Church which is the largest & most elaborate of all processions, returning to the church late afternoon – all dressed in traditional purple robes . Throughout the day and night there are many more processions throughout Antigua! Some activities include: 12:00 – 4:00pm – Crucifixion ceremonies at Escuela de Cristo church and the Cathedral. 3:00pm – Processions from the Cathedral, San Felipe de Jesus and Escuela de Cristo church – all dressed in black / mourning robes. Overnight in Antigua.
Included this day: Breakfast, hotel.
* Saturday April 4th – Free Day Climb a volcano (extra fee), zip line (extra fee), shop, relax….
Included this day: Breakfast, hotel.
* Sunday April 5th – Departure Transport from your hotel to the airport.
Included this day: Breakfast (for those departing after 8:00am), airport transport.
Airline / flight # / time (I know you may depart later. Transport from hotel to airport or hotel in Guate City included in package price).
Cost of $1685. per person. Single rooms extra.
*** price subject to change until deposit has been received.
The hotel in Antigua used in the package is the Hotel San Jorge – A 3 star hotel located across the street from the Hotel Antigua, with free wifi, drinking water, garden with outside sitting areas. Light breakfast included. Rooms with 1 double bed + 1 (or 2) twin beds. http://hotelsanjorgeantigua.com/english.html
The hotel for Panajachel is the hotel Posada de Don Rodrigo – Standard room with 2 double beds (+ cot upon request) On site restaurant, hammocks, large heated pool with water slide. Breakfast included.
OR: (depending on availability)
Hotel Dos Mundos + (502) 7762-2140
Located on the main street but set in for more privacy and quiet.
Steps away from all Panajachel has to offer, with on-site restaurant specializing in Italian cuisine. Hotel has a pool and gardens.
Each room is a bungalow-type / 1 double bed + 1 twin bed.
Full breakfast daily included.
*** Upgrade available for the Hotel Antigua = additional $560. p/p to the base package price above.
Porta Hotel Antigua + (502) 7832-2804
“Premium” room (2 queen beds – extra cot upon request) / breakfast buffet daily
Best (heated) pool in Antigua. Large gardens, on-site restaurants, free wifi in lobby and by pool/restaurant area.
Option for 1st floor with patio and direct access to gardens and pool or 2nd floor room with balcony and ceiling fan.
Cancellation and No-Show policy:
Any changes to your itinerary made while traveling in country are subject to extra charges. No refunds or credits may be available.
* No refunds will be guaranteed if cancelled 90 days or less before the beginning of your planned itinerary.
Management and responsibility: Guatemala Reservations and Travel Assistance (GRTA) acts only as an agent and neither GRTA nor any employee or appointee nor any other person, party or organization or agency collaborating with it is or shall be responsible or liable for any injury or loss, accident or damage, delay or deviation or curtailment, howsoever caused or arising or the consequences thereof, which may occur during any part of the travel or program or during such free time as persons may elect to spend independently on tour; except to the extent of GRTA’s direct negligent acts or omissions. GRTA reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary if it is in the best interest of those traveling due to unforeseen circumstances.
Cancellations must be submitted in writing (email); the date such notification is received and by Guatemala Reservations and Travel Assistance (GRTA), is the cancellation date. In the event the passengers fail to travel because of an event of force majeure, including but not limited to, war, terrorism, or threats of terrorism, State Department advisories, strikes, bad weather, natural disasters, loss of luggage, etc., GRTA will not guarantee any refund but will work with participants if there are any costs that can be refunded.
*** Participants are advised, and strongly encouraged, to purchase travel insurance to cover any non-refundable costs.
Your pre-payment implies that you understand and agree to the cancellation policy above.